I admit it. He had it coming… Cupid. Murder comes in many shapes and forms, and my epiphany fired that simple shattering shot.
Couples are around us every day, but when Valentine’s Day comes around many might have a difficult time. It’s the season of branding, whereby one’s relationship status is placed under a microscope for everyone to see, and if one is single, maybe even have pity for the single bird. There is nothing worse than being the one without a Valentine, and I think I finally figured out why. Over the years, it is hammered into us that our worth as women is based on how others regard us – on if we are lovable and worthy of love. Sexual attention doesn’t equate to love. Gifts do not equal love. According to Sheryl Paul,”When someone truly loves you, they love you for who you are, not for what you do.” See Sheryl Paul, If It’s Conditional, It’s Not Love
Growing up, back in the day of the school yard crushes, elementary school pulled the wool over our eyes. After spending hours doing arts and crafts the night before the big day, Valentine’s Day represented a united celebration.We understood it to be a day of pure joy, and that love was multifaceted. Everyone received something, not just a select few.
Fast forward to middle school, when puberty is more on the forefront, and the idea of love, barely understood. Valentine’s Day became synonymous with red roses and hand holding. The scale varied depending on one’s attractiveness, or the perception thereof, and on where one fit in the scope of things. Those lovely cards from k-5, were no more, replaced instead by eye-rolls, pouting and first bouts of envy.
In High School, with the school dances, and where hand holding had progressed for many to more adult activities, Valentine’s Day became the day of love as propagated by marketing and commercialism. Those insecurities created in junior-high morphed into larger demons. Valentine’s Day lost its flourish, blooming instead into a bouquet filled with insecurities and self-hate symbolized by lockets, dying flowers and expensive dinners. The rising peer pressure came to a full head as young girls grew up to determine their self-worth by being recognized as worthy by someone else.
Going to a Christian College, with the running ideology being more of “let’s get our MRS.,” it’s tragic to remember the sheer lengths women would go to in order to receive something, not realizing again that love is more than being someone’s eye candy. Maybe I’m alone in this thought, but if ever there is a day to celebrate love, it should be a day propagated to celebrate all types of love – not just those that are marketable for a company selling chocolates and roses.
Understanding this huge shift, brought me my freedom. When I smashed that glass ceiling, and watched cupid’s porcelain statue shatter, I realized my worth. I realized that there weren’t enough chocolates, flowers or love songs in the world to put me back in that cage of being tied down by ridiculous propaganda of what Valentine’s Day should be about. When we allow others to determine our value, we lose sight of our self-worth, and allow ourselves to be victimized by their perception and truth, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, you have the power to determine your paradigm, and your happiness. That power comes from recognizing who you are, and loving your imperfections.
If you’re married or single, in love, a ride or die chick, or just a side piece, remember that everyday should be a day for love—and the best love is the love of self. For it is only when we love ourselves can we truly love another.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” – Oscar Wilde
TINA GLASNECK is the international selling crime fiction author of the Spark Before Dying Series. She enjoys playing in the snow, listening to great music and laughing during life’s moments. Learn more about Tina at www.TinaGlasneck.com